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EU Demands Canada Completely Overhaul Its Intellectual Property Laws

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Monday March 29, 2010
Late last year, a draft of the European Union proposal for the intellectual property chapter of the Canada - EU Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement leaked online.  The leak revealed that the EU was seeking some significant changes to Canadian IP laws.  Negotiations have continued and I have now received an updated copy of the draft chapter, complete with proposals from both the EU and Canada.  The breadth of the demands are stunning - the EU is demanding nothing less than a complete overhaul of Canadian IP laws including copyright, trademark, databases, patent, geographic indications, and even plant variety rights.

While there are some Canadian requests - for example, Canada plays Hollywood North by asking the EU to introduce an anti-camcording provision - virtually all the changes would require Canadian reforms.  In fact, while the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement garners the bulk of the attention, CETA would actually involve far more domestic change.  In some sections, the EU simply takes its own directives and incorporates them into the treaty.  For example, provisions on the liability of ISPs is taken directly from EU law, including the use of terms such as "information society service" - something that is defined under EU law but is meaningless in Canada. 

Notably, the draft includes many new rights for broadcasters.  These rights form part of a proposed Broadcast Treaty at WIPO that has failed to achieve consensus.  The EU is seeking to build support for the treaty by requiring Canada to implement many new provisions that would give broadcasters a host of new rights and force public places to pay additional fees for carry broadcasts.

Given the magnitude of the proposed changes, the price of a trade agreement is clear.  The EU is effectively demanding that Canada surrender its sovereignty over intellectual property law and policy. Some of the proposed changes in the Intellectual Property chapter (Chapter 20) of CETA include:

Copyright

The EU demands include:
  • compliance with WIPO Internet treaties
  • extension of the term of copyright to life of the author plus 70 years (Canadian law currently at life plus 50 years)
  • additional copyright term extensions for audiovisual works, anonymous works, and unpublished works
  • term of copyright for broadcasts for at least 50 years (Canada wants to limit to wireless broadcasts, while EU wants it to cover everything)
  • greater transparency for copyright collectives
  • new resale right for works of art
  • new exclusive right of fixation for broadcasts (Canada wants to limit to wireless broadcasts, while EU wants it to cover everything)
  • new exclusive right for broadcasters for retransmission in public places (ie. new fees for bars and other public places)
  • new distribution right
  • extension of the reproduction right to performers and broadcasters
  • extension of the communications right for performers, phonogram producers, film producers, and broadcasters.
  • anti-circumvention rules including provisions against devices that can be used to circumvent digital locks
  • protection for rights management information
These are all EU demands.  The only Canadian request is a yet to be specified provision on camcording.

Enforcement of IP Rights

The enforcement IP rights section contains literally pages of European law that the EU wants incorporated into Canada.  It addresses everything from ISP liability to injunctions to border measures to damages provisions.  The EU even wants new criminal sanctions added, but has yet to specify what those should be.  There are no Canadian requests here.  Rather, the EU wants Canada to discard its approach to the enforcement of intellectual property almost completely and simply adopt the EU model.

Trademarks

The EU demands include:
  • Canada to comply with the Trademark Law Treaty (Canada wants only to comply with the Singapore Treaty on the Law of Trademarks and to make reasonable efforts to accede to Madrid Agreement on international registration)
  • Canada to change its procedure for registration of trademarks
  • Canada to provide protections for well-known trademarks
Geographic Indications

Canada and the EU propose competing approaches for extending protections for geographic indications.  This applies to a wide range of products including agricultural products, wine, spirit drinks, and foodstuffs.  The EU's plan is far more extensive with provisions on protection, enforcement, rights of use, and scope of protection.  In fact, the EU even wants to create a Joint Committee on geographic indications charged with monitoring the rules between Canada and the EU.

Designs

The EU demands include:
  • Canada to accede to the Hague Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Industrial Designs
  • new protection for designs
  • new rights for registration of designs
  • term of protection for designs of at least five years
Patents

The EU demands include:
  • Canada to comply with Articles 1 - 16 of the Patent Law Treaty (Canada wants to "endeavour to accede" to the treaty)
  • further protection for medicinal or plant protection
  • additional protection blocking disclosure of pharmaceutical data that is submitted to regulatory authorities to third parties
  • new data protection for plant protection
Trade Secrets

Canada demands that the EU adopt the Canadian protection for trade secrets.
Comments (69)add comment

Anonymous said:

Ha
They might have been taken seriously if they had cut their demands down to one or two. Now they will be the laughing stock of our country. GG EU.
March 29, 2010

Eric L. said:

RE: Anonymous
Indeed. Considering the overall negative response ACTA is getting, it is amazing that the EU would even think that this kind of crap would fly here at all.
March 29, 2010

Darryl Moore said:

@Eric
Our politicians are still negotiating ACTA aren't they? As they are still negotiating CETA. So obviously this 'crap' does fly here. Unfortunately we don't get to make the laws. The politicians and bureaucrats in Ottawa do, and sadly they do not have ears for our views. Only corporations. Therefore I see significant cause to be disturbed by this news.
March 29, 2010

crade said:

...
Yeah, this crap totally flys here with the people in charge if not with those they are supposed to represent. As far as I can gather, our politicians seem to view this reform as a matter of trying to keep the damn electorate off their backs long enough so they can make the US and EU happy.
March 29, 2010

Mark said:

...
"Demand"??? They "demand" it? By what authority?
March 29, 2010

Pafcwoody said:

...
Yes at the root of this whole process is a strong drive from the various industry lobbies. Interesting then that one may find the same businesses lobbying both sides of the Atlantic. This has nothing to do with input from the man on the street and will inevItably have an adverse effect on him. More revenue streams for Murdoch et al.
March 29, 2010

concerned said:

are we going to let this happen?
Intellectual Property is Bullshit. A product of Capitalism and completely unnecessary to a modern 21st century society. We need to begin to ORGANIZE in order to prevent these new EU Laws from being absorbed by the Capitalists in Ottawa who run the country.

This is the thin edge of the wedge that will bring Big Brother and complete corporate control of the internet and thus the future of human knowledge. We have to stop this crazy stuff right now, before it's too late.

great article Michael.
March 29, 2010

Infringer Criminal said:

The Internet is working just fine, thanks but we don't want any
If ATCA goes through get ready for internet v3.0, where one half is the corporate garbage as seen on TV, and the other is an encrypted node-based free-speech underground internet. Hmmm I wonder which will appeal to me?
March 29, 2010

Natt said:

And I demand...
That dead people can't hold intellectual property.
March 29, 2010

Crockett said:

Contortionist Canada
I did't know Canada was so lithe as to bend over in so many directions at once! Stand up Canada, let's show the world some good old Canadian sensibility. Make laws that make sense ... for the people not for campaign profit.
March 29, 2010

Yarr! said:

From my cold dead hands...
Dear EU:

We're a sovereign nation. Stick where the sun don't shine.
March 29, 2010

Ryan said:

...
The EU can demand all they like, the same way I can demand for a higher paying job and lower taxes even though I shall receive neither.

I have trust our elected officials will see through this BS.
March 29, 2010

hmm said:

Makes me wonder
In the news last week, the EU lowered its environmental standards in order for Canada's "oil sands" to acceptable.

Makes me wonder if there is some sort of give & take going on here between Canada and the EU. Scratch my back and I'll scratch yours type thing that shouldn't be overlooked.
March 29, 2010

oldguy said:

...
"the EU lowered its environmental standards in order for Canada's "oil sands" to acceptable"

Acceptable to whom? Why?

And why are supposedly scientific (environmental) standards being "adjusted" for political gain/loss?

Strikes me that the whole political structure needs to be driven less by special interest groups, and more by common sense.

Yes, I realize that politics is about compromise (and I support such). But as anyone that has ever tried to compromise with an unyielding fanatic knows, there are limits to this process. Sooner or later you have to apply some common sense. The process is only as good as the people involved.

March 29, 2010

MousierLibre said:

How to change Capitalism to Fascism 101
It makes me laugh & cry that anyone on here thinks this will not pass. Who's going to notice other than a couple of fanatic nerds & lawyers.

The US has made it clear as a country all they want to do is abuse patents and copyright to steal money from the rest of the world.

This is great because the blockade of patents insures that new competition can not enter a given market until they've fully extracted all the profits out of it. The copyright means that they just need to keep milking the same properties over and over.

Minimal work, maximum profit. Anyone who gets in front of the gravy train is going to get steamrolled.

Example: Want to put Research In Motion back at the top of the smartphone sales list with their blackberry? Well they're going to have to fight their way through 1000 Apple/Microsoft/Google software patents even if they could put out a decent product. That's a company that already has clout and money to get into a patent war.

Now if I you were starting a new company to compete with these guys: with zero patents and zero dollars? GOOD LUCK entering the market. You'll need an army of lawyers just to talk about your products...

Manufacturing is already moved to cheap labour, and will move to even cheaper labour soon (ala Robotics). So basically that leaves the rest of the world to do what? Be consumer, and extract natural resources for the US to consume?

This is the worse global takeover to ever happen, and its amazing that no one can connect the dots. Hitler would be rolling in his grave if only he knew how easy it could have been done.

If the world doesn't wake up and realize you're handing total monopolies over by increasing Intellectual property right in this manner, you deserve what falls upon your populations.
March 29, 2010

Enrico said:

EU demand???
As European citizen (Italian, living in England), i would like to clarify one thing..
EU don't demand anything.....it's just a bunch of incompetent leaders of the struggling Music/Media industry, pushing politicians because they are not able to find any solution to their problems.
Media industry represents more than ever an opportunity to make money.
The problem is they are asking money to the wrong client..... the audience
I actually developed about 6 different format to make money thanks to music/media content, giving everything for free.

No need to say that despite my research included many case studies, business and market analysis, plus reasonable business plan, the so called Media and Advertising "experts" laughed at me, or simply they were scared that such innovations would have damaged their "friends" (music majors and media networks)

What i am saying is that all EU and US are attempting to do is just to save a small group of losers, justified by the fact they have good connections with politicians

March 29, 2010

Fairdealer said:

@MousierLibre
I call Godwin.

Hitler was not the one who would have been excited by modern corporatist developments. Mussolini is.

What are they teaching kids in school these days?
March 29, 2010

Ryan said:

...
"As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches 1." - Godwin's Law.

@fairdealer Ditto. It pisses me off when people take a legitimate issue and throw these terms out there as if every politician or citizen involved suddenly became a dictator capable of mass murder over night.
March 29, 2010

crade said:

...
I agree of course the Hitler crap is a bit much.. but if you had to pick one of the currently well known political ideologies, which one would you say this sort of agenda is a step towards?
March 29, 2010

Laurel L. Russwurm said:

dictators and demands
Most people in the real world had no idea what Hitler was up to while he amassed power. The only way to assume dictatorial powers in a democracy is by pretending that you aren't. Certainly, there is not yet any evidence that ACTA plans on attempting genocide. This does not mean that dictatorial powers are not being sought.

ACTA is "treaty" between a few countries which seeks to impose it's decisions on the world. It is being done secretly because the countries involved in the negotiations are supposed to be democratic, and the involved governments know that a majority of informed citizens would not support it. Sounds dictatorial to me.

CETA seems to be as bad or worse, but from stuff I've heard here and there it sounds as though CETA is "demanding" that Canada make laws that the EU hasn't even got.

My big question is, what's in it for Canada? Why is Canada even considering giving up our sovereignty?
March 29, 2010

W McLean said:

...
Dear EU:

Yeah, come back and talk to us after the UK has de-colonized access to posthumously unpublished works, and after all EU countries, including the UK, abolish Crown and government copyright, put MAXIMUMS on the duration of copyright, not just minimums, adopt flexible fair dealing, and spearhead an international treaty on those subjects.

Until you are willing to talk about the public interest in copyright, and not just the private interest, have a nice day.

KTHXBYE.
March 29, 2010

Fairdealer said:

What ideology is it?
My issue was with the statement made by MousierLibre is firstly that that this is something Hitler would have been big on, and secondly that it automatically equates to fascism.

To address first who was into corporatism in world war two I would really recommend some research. Unless my understanding is completely broken, Hitler was not at all big on allowing corporations to rule and run the government. On the other hand, this is exactly what Mussolini was after. Corporatist fascism really took wing under Mussolini, not Hitler. **

As to corporatism and its automatic equation to fascism, this is as false as tying democracy to capitalism. Just as there are plenty of capitalist regimes that are not democratic, or democratic regimes that are not capitalist, fascism and corporatism can exist independently.

My gripe was simply one of “historical accuracy, please!”

Corporatism is the appropriate term for what "western" governments are rapidly becoming. I do not debate or condone this; indeed I deplore it. The blatant corporatism of western governments is positively appalling. Corporations have many of the rights (except one critical one) of citizens; though apparently none of the responsibilities. The real key difference is the right to vote; as yet corporations do not have this right. (Though in the US they can now contribute directly to political campaigns.) While our society is in my opinion experiencing a dramatic decline in the areas of personal liberty and corporate responsibility, we haven’t taken the flying leap off of a cliff-face that many believe we have. The real ticket is that corporations lack the vote. As long as they can not vote, we have a chance (however slim) to swing the pendulum back in favour of the citizens of a country. Once corporations gain the vote however, it is most assuredly game over.

** It should be noted that in Mein Kampf Hitler did espouse some early Corporatist – Fascist ideals, however these were truly incorporated into the Nazi regime. (Though corporatism did find its way into some early Nazi propaganda it was never implemented.) Italy under Mussolini is a completely different story; the corporations essentially ran that country with the government’s blessing.
March 29, 2010

Fairdealer said:

Correction
** It should be noted that in Mein Kampf Hitler did espouse some early Corporatist – Fascist ideals, however these were truly incorporated into the Nazi regime.

Should read

** It should be noted that in Mein Kampf Hitler did espouse some early Corporatist – Fascist ideals, however these were NEVER truly incorporated into the Nazi regime.

My apologies for the typo.
March 29, 2010

Jason K said:

Question
Why does Canada keep getting bullied by those who insist on these reforms, and in large part by those who have implemented these reforms, and are currently failing in their respected economies? Out of everyone Canada has the most stable economy in the world right now. Shouldn't we be demanding what we want from these countries instead?
March 29, 2010

Fairdealer said:

@Jason K
The answer is simple: because our current crop of politicians is far more "purchasable" than the past couple decade's worth of their antecedents.
March 29, 2010

pat donovan said:

grunt
as the UN was a home for retired poiticos... I suspect the EU has MORE than it's fair share of dildos selfing off their noise value to the highest bidders.

I wonder what it would take to buy 155/300 MPs here in canada? Movie appearances by how many PM/MP's sons + daughters?

packrat

March 29, 2010

fred simon said:

Broadcast rights
There is a lot of talk of broadcast rights in this document, as there has been in many previous documents dealing with copyright. I still for the life of me can't get my head around the concept of broadcast rights to begin with.

Isn't giving copyright rights to broadcasts a little like giving those same rights to book stores? I mean broadcasters are just the delivery mechanism. Why do should they get any rights at all other than what is given to them through contract with the real owner of the copyright.

Can anyone here clarify for me?

Thanks
March 29, 2010

MousierLibre said:

You people are stuck in your books and semantics
To make a point to the dim witted amongst us, the control mechanisms in place be it corporate or government are irrelevant. If your slave master is called the SS, or it is called Monsanto does it matter?

The basic principal of removing the decisions from the masses and handing them off to elite is at issue here. Hitler attempted to accomplish this goal through military and propaganda. He didn't realize all he had to use was propaganda. Gerbils could have taken over the world for him.

So someone made a mime called "Godwin's law" now all of sudden any mention of dictatorship has no merit. Fair enough forget world war 2, and when you run out of natural resources for the Americans to purchase from enjoy the wealth of Africa.

The only people who stand to gain from patent & copyright reforms are GLOBAL MULTINATIONALS. Look around you... we don't have any! If you want to whore out your countries economic future, increase drug costs, and eliminate any chance of competing globally - be my guest.

Alternatively you can also get stuck on the fact that mentioned Hitler, thus allowing you escape from actually having to analyse the rest of what was written.
March 29, 2010

Fairdealer said:

@MousierLibre
Actually, the issue is that what Hitler was trying to accomplish and what today's corporations are trying to accomplish are completely different. Hitler wasn’t about removing the control of government from the masses; quite the opposite, it was about putting the control into the hands of the “right” masses. (I.E. kill anyone he didn’t like, but otherwise the ideas related to “the good of the many, and the many having a say in government” were actually on the agenda.) (There was a certain element of neo-feudalism involved that muddies things as well, but this is getting way to in depth to be arguing here...)

Modern corporatists are in their own way far more insidious. Sure, modern corporations don’t go about committing genocide or exterminating people by the multi-millions. Instead, as you pointed out, they use propaganda. Hitler was trying to not only “purify the world,” but also rebuild his battered nation’s industry and social services. You can try to compare the two all you want, but what they were after was completely different. Hitler had a long-term plan to rebuild Germany and take over the world. Modern corporatists are pathologically incapable of thinking beyond the next quarterly bonus. Hitler was all about the rights and freedoms of citizens; he was just really, really narrow on his definition of “citizen.” Corporatists barely acknowledge the concept of citizens; we are merely walking wallets. Hitler was completely batshit crazy. Corporatists are crazy...like a fox.

In truth, in many ways modern megacorporations have more power than any force or group I can think of in human history. They are disorganised though; they squabble and infight so much that they are (for now) their own worst enemy. It is only when they start co-operating (the RIAA, MPAA and similar organisations are good examples,) that they become dangerous. Individual companies are too shortsighted to be much of a threat; cartels tend to engage in long-term planning.

The issue then isn’t the global multinational; it’s the fact that they are allowed to run around in packs. You mention patent and copyright issues; these wouldn’t be issues were corporate lobby and pressure groups kept in a box to begin with. A government can stand up to a single company and deny its demands to alter laws to their benefit. That same government has difficulty standing up to entire industries. Corporations are blood-sucking vampires by design; capitalists believe this encourages innovation through competition. How they go out of control is through industry organisations. Corporate lobby and pressure groups should never have been allowed to exist at all. We have suffered well over a century of them, but we still haven’t figured out how to defeat them.

Your points have merit; entry into many market spaces today is a minefield of intellectual property concerns. From patents to trademarks to copyrights the business landscape is downright poisonous. Furthermore, as technology advances, and enables individuals to undertake actions that previously required massive corporate or governmental investment, (copying music or films is an example,) the poisons are leaking into the lives of everyday citizens as well.

To try to draw parallels with Hitler draws comments of Godwin not because “mentioning totalitarianism or fascism is wrong.” It is because it is not relevant to the current debate. Corporatists are more than evil enough on their own; but they are a new, interesting form of evil, and the lessons learned from fighting and defeating Hitler will not help us here. We need to approach this threat with a clear mind and seek new strategies for a new enemy.
March 29, 2010

Dack Hoober said:

!!!

Canada, the newest country to join the EU.
March 30, 2010

Eric said:

Stop blaming the EU. Or Canada.
Europe isn't trying to press Canada into a stricter copyright regime. It is Europe's Directorate General of Trade that is trying to pressure both Canada and the EU into a stricter copyright regime. That distinction might not be legally sound, but it is morally sound. And I believe it points to the power driving these negotiations: a corporate lobby that isn't divided along the lines of national borders. And I believe it points to the core of the problem: allowing laws to be written in trade negotiations and sending diplomats from our departments of trade (or equivalent) to do it.

March 30, 2010

Ian said:

It's time for property tax
The global economy is shifting from physical property to "intellectual property". While I don't agree with all the "rights" that are being granted, they are being granted none the less. With so much of societies wealth and benefits tied up in this "property" it is long past time for the tax system to catch up with where the bulk of the property is. It should all be subject to property tax at the same rate as physical property and based, in the same way, on the market value of the property. That will ensure at least some benefit for society, as opposed to the global corporations, and promote a balance in the values being claimed. Imagine if the RIAA members had to pay property tax based on the value they declare for their products: $80,000 per copy of a song times their projected annual sales would estimate the value of the property - that's what they should be taxed on.
March 30, 2010

MM said:

canada=EU member? I think not...
Eu should govern the country's under it's own states.

"The European Union (EU) is an economic and political union of 27 member states"

Canada is not one of them so maybe they should stop trying to dictate policy for countries on the other side of the world....

perhaps they should be concerned with the massive debt and swindling done by American company to hide all this debt that is lowering the value of the euro instead of trying to gain control over our sovereign nation.

If we shared the same currency or where a part of the EU i could understand them trying to control policy over us but they are not. The EU have as much right to dictate our laws as korea would have the right to...

And don't even get me started on their attempt at killing public domain which has been under attack by these greedy companies who would rather extend their control over copy rights indefinitely.
O hey if we extend rights to ones work past the life author every 10-20 years by 20 years hey we can control rights to stuff made for hundreds of years without coming up with any new content. Who doesn't like having to pay obscene amounts of money for using a song like happy birthday.

Anyway the EU can suck it because guess what we stopped being an empire state of Britain a long time ago!
March 30, 2010

StompinObasans said:

ehhhhhhh
it seems time is long past for abolition of copyright and trademarks. they have become a burden on the society, taking far more to maintain than they give back.
March 30, 2010

Touriste said:

Berne Convention and reducing nb. of years of protection
Personaly, I am happy with the current law, though it can certainly be improved.

The current laws already allows corporations many way to fight piracy on the legal ground instead of waisting their time with DMCA or copy protection scheme that can't work (if you can play it, there will always be a way to copy it).

But they don't want to use it because if it works, their lobbying would loose a lot of strength. The main reason why they are making less money is that they refused to adapt to the current market, which facilitate competition from small music labels or independent artists. Just look at how much resistence they put before accepting to sell music online, and then only with strident DRM (Apple didn't wanted to use DRM).

Actually, I think copyright should be limited to only 50 years after public release, or 50 years after the death of the last author if published posthum.

The logic is that after 50 years, how many artist are still making money from what they produced? Except Elvis Presley, The Beatles and a number of exceptions where people had plenty of time to save some of the profits, most have been forgoten long ago and are getting almost nothing, if something at all, from what was produced 50 years ago. And we are not talking about the artists that sold their copyright for way too little money.

In practice, 70 years of copyright protection after the death of the author only helps corporations. If the protection would only be 20 years after public display, corporations would be forced to work harder to find, develop and produce a lot more original content and thus more artists. I think that the artists would be the real winners in the long run, but I doubt that the big music corporations really care about that.

Unfortunately, 20 years of cpyright or even 50 is not possible in Canada because the Berne Convention specify that copyright must be granted for at least 50 years after the death of the author (there is exceptions, but it is the general rule). Getting over 150 countries to agree to a modification seems like very unlikely with the current lobbying from the RIAA and the likes.
March 30, 2010

Hmmm said:

Hitler
Hitler was not bending over to the corporations, nor was he attempting to rule the people with them. He was nationalizing the corporations and placing them under democratic control.

His people were being bled dry paying reparations for WWI before Hitler hit the scene, and all the corporations were foreign owned and shipping wealth out of the country.

Hitler rose to power because the people were pissed off about the very sorts of things that Michael Geist is pissed off about, and he was the one who said "Let's get those fuckers".

The Nazi's blitzed across Europe because the people he was invading wanted to get those fuckers too.

Hitler got put into the position of power he occupied because he was the least crazy person to stand up to crap of this very nature. The ordinary people made Hitler.

It's not really much different from when the Knights Templar were all executed after they found the secret of moneylending in old books in Jerusalem and suckered all the kings into debt slavery.

It's not really that much different from when Jesus confronted the Money Changers, kicked over their tables and burned the place down to liberate the people from debt slavery.

It's bound to happen again, and for the same reasons. And when it does, people like us will be cheering, unaware of the terrible violence to come when the property owners come to reclaim what has "been stolen" from them by interfering governments that act in the interests of ordinary people.

Imagine that's why there are so many big blockbuster Nazi movies these days. Got to reinforce the myths about the Nazi's...
March 30, 2010

1984isnotausermanual said:

Please don't use that newspeak-word 'Intellectual Property'
Please don't use that horrid example of newspeak. There is no intellectual property, nobody can own an idea. There is copyright and patent law and trademark law and more but these are all different and none of them give any real 'ownership'.

An idea is an idea, not a property. A patent may grant a localized monopoly on profiting from the idea but it does not grant property rights. Copyright puts limits on what you can do with something but it does not grant property rights either.

The reCAPTCHA under this message read 'no lemmings' - how fitting. Please don't be a lemming, don't blindly follow the masses in adopting newspeak. Patents. Copyrights. Trademarks. Not property.
March 30, 2010

maebnoom said:

First off:
1. Stop yammering on about Hitler & nazis. Geez. I'd give y'all a smack if I could. :rolleyes:

2. Anti Canada Trade Agreement.

amirite?

[*] MousierLibre said:

"It makes me laugh & cry that anyone on here thinks this will not pass. Who's going to notice other than a couple of fanatic nerds & lawyers."

Sad but true. And the funny part is the ones making these demands are in worse shape than we are, economically.
March 30, 2010

Bill Rosmus said:

Why Should Canada Have Its Own Special Rules When Joining A Club
Canada is asking to join in treaty with an already established group with a preexisting set of rules. If the EU is asking Canada to adopt their laws in this regard, it is nothing more than what they have asked their own 27 member states to sign on to as well. That is, 27 different countries with similar economies and values as Canada has (some with much bigger economies), have already signed onto this agreement. After all EU law means law for the EU, which is a group of 27 COUNTRIES.

Now here we are, ONE country wishing to join in economic partnership with 27 other countries who have already negotiated the rules on how to 'play' together. If I were the EU I would be asking this as well. Why would they allow one new pseudo member have one set of rules to play by, and everyone else has another. Especially such a large number of others. If I were them I would say, "here is a set of rules for our members, we came by them by a lot of sweat and tears, and they have put us all on a level playing field; if you want to join our club you need to be on the same level playing field as the rest of us."
March 30, 2010

Steve Linton said:

Prof
This is a negotiating draft -- of course the EU is asking for everything to be done its way. I imagine Canada is doing the same in some other chapter of the same treaty that they care more about.
March 30, 2010

atis said:

...
I'm ashamed to be European now. I thought European Parliament was most democratic in those matters - we don't have software patents, and I hope that one day there won't be intellectual property, but this is just ridiculous. Somebody's going to earn big money on such laws..
March 30, 2010

1984isnotausermanual said:

The EU parliament is democratic, the EU commission is...
...a bunch of sock puppets dancing to the tune of the highest bidder.
March 30, 2010

MousierLibre said:

@Fairdealer
Its refreshing to see someone take some time and thought into presenting an argument. A rare treat these days.

I agree with you to an extent. However your perception of organizations being scattered, with infighting and decentralized is true of many corporations. Not all of them. One need only look at the cross pollination of Directors from company to company. There are many concerted protectionist strategies in place. I've witnessed them first hand in our own Telecom industry.

In fact the link between government and especially commanding heights corporations is actually very hand and hand. The US knows National security and the economy go hand and hand. Its how they feel they "defeated" the soviet union during the cold war, by maintaining a robust economy.

One only needs to look as far as Google's play on China at the moment to see that the strings being pulled are far from disorganized. If you think Google is acting on this alone, you may wish to reconsider. This is an elaborate plan of action involving many players that will draw out over time.

Observe the full frontal assault on the Japanese auto industry. This is a threat not because of jobs being shipped overseas, the elites could care less average Americans having work - but rather where the final Profit Loss statement falls which is in Japan.

Today money is power, and power is money. The Americans (rightfully so) see the future economy being solely based on intellectual property (patents), and entertainment (movies/music/videogames etc).

Take Apple for example, nothing more than a small amount of designers and marketers. Its bottom line completely dependent on being able to shut people out of its market through threats of patent violation. You can make a phone that is 10x better than an IPhone, but all you need to do is borrow 1 or 2 "ideas" in order to maintain a resemblance and familiarity with your product to what people have been trained to expect and poof your sued (Apple vs HTC anyone?).

Robotics are eliminating manual labor everywhere at a faster and faster pace. Once you eliminate manual labour, what do you have left? Basically Ideas & Information, and Natural resources. Well the Americans already have natural resources locked up, now its time to lock down Intellectual Property and Copyright.

The world will be owned by America again... With all significant revenues flowing into American pockets. This is not by accident, but rather coordinated by many individuals who understand theres more money in working as a team then there is alone.

Now personally I have no problem with America being the richest country in the world. That's fine by me, someone's always going to be the wealthiest. There's actually some benefit to it for the rest of the world.

Personally I could care less about trademarks on fashion... on copyright on Hollywood movies/video games... These items are really not consequential the well being of future Canadian generations.

What is important is that we keep the Candian Internet efficient, and free (without 3-strikes or DRM). This is threatened by ACTA.

In addition if we don't peel back patent laws already existing, we leave ourselves unable to compete in global markets. We stifle innovation, and we fact a global imbalance in wealth.

Canadians are not going to thrive forever selling Oil to the Americans. Last I check those sands are not an infinite supply. So lets consider fighting for our future.
March 30, 2010

OneOfThoseDudes said:

I'm sorry... for all of us
As a European, I feel ya. They're trying to push shit down all our collective throats. It really is a big conspiracy of the big media industry.

I'm sorry our undemocratic organs are trying to do this to Canada. I hoped to escape to Canada, at last, if things went downwind here. I'm also sorry that they're trying to do the same to us, their own citizens. Being ostracized for opposing big, filthy business.

Some of the responsible people should be hanged, to keep in with the Nazi theme. Don't you think what they're doing is sort of a crime against all of humanity? They're trying to "claim" ideas, so that noone else may use them without paying exorbitant fees. They're taking away all our culture.

I say let's have a second round of Nuremberg trials and hang some of those bastards...
March 30, 2010

OneOfThoseDudes said:

...
I retract my reference ti the Nuremberg trials and crimes against humanity. One shouldn't compare any crimes to those facilitating the holocaust. I apologize for this insensitivity.
March 30, 2010

Oh boy said:

It looks like the consultation was just smoke and mirrors
Clement et al. will use the consultation as an excuse to ram these draconian changes down our throats. Thanks for not representing Canada at all Mr. Clement.



March 30, 2010

Fairdealer said:

@MousierLibre
It seems we agree in large part. Individual corporations are not a threat; corporations acting on concert are.

As to the idea of moving towards an "intellectual property society," I agree it's inevitable. The earth has few resources left; even fewer countries that have any in abundance. Canada, Russia, Australia and Brazil are the countries that will be able to survive as resource-based economies for the longest time. They have the largest and most diverse availability of various resources; and comparatively low populations.

The issue with an intellectual property society however is that by allowing it, we are cementing a wealth gap in place that may take us a millennium to defeat. Already 1% of people control over 95% of the wealth. The worst part is; when wealth arrives in their hands, they simply remove it from the economy. They rarely, if ever reinvest. This leaves 5% of extant wealth to recirculation, amongst the entire world, with the top 1% of people removing as much of it from the economy as they possibly can. More interestingly, those in power have vested interests in preventing the creation of new sources of wealth or knowledge that would threaten their ability to extract the maximum possible energy from the system.

The fact is that planetwide we simply don’t create as much new wealth at the bottom of the system as is extracted from the system at top of it. This means that overall everyone who is not part of that top 1% is going to have to get used an ever-diminishing amount of luxury. We neither create enough new “intellectual property” nor do we do enough terrible things to the environment to extract wealth from it. We simply can’t feed those on the top of the heap as much as they want any more, but this hasn’t diminished their rake. As such, the whole system is suffering, and a new aristocracy is being born; one of corporations and their leaders instead of nobles and kings.

I can’t say for sure where it will all end, but I have my suspicions. I think your idea of a future “robotic society” is essentially correct. Robots will do the jobs we now assign to the poor; resource extraction, content creation, fighting in wars. What little “middle class” might still exist will be the handful of techs in the world required to build and maintain these robots. The rich will stay where they are, doing things that then, as now, we only barely comprehend. The poor of today, the teeming billions who are to be replaced by robots...will simply die off. There won’t be enough resources for them; they will be removed from the system at the top and never reinvested.

The sad part is, despite all the squawking here about the EU telling Canada what to do...the European parliament might well be the one true hope any of us have of avoiding this dystopia. Such an interesting turn of events then that the EU commission is so thoroughly corrupt; that it wants to tell Canada what to do.

Personally, I wish Canada were willing and able to join the EU. “Steelie” Neelie Kroes seems like one of the smartest, most citizen-oriented politicians in the entire world right now. She is one among many; the EU has quite a few worth their salt.

As much as I hate CETA and ACTA…if they were the price to pay for joining the EU, I’d vote yes in a heartbeat. In the real world though, Canada is being asked to eat these without the benefits that EU membership would bring. Given a choice, I’d say reject both out of hand, and convince Neelie Kroes to come to Canada with a handful of her chums and run this country for a while. Clean house and kick out the corrupt; maybe then we could show the world how it’s done.
March 30, 2010

JD said:

An opinion
There are lots of good comments, and lots of not so good commentaries here.

Consider that Canada is a small fish in a big pond. We want to do business in places like the US and the EU so if we don't comply with what they want, we will have tariffs put on anything we produce or sell even if it's permitted to be sold. No political party in Canada would want to try to fight them if they became the ruling government. I'll hold my views on the current federal government to make this as non-partisan as I can.

Also, lawyers and lobbyists have more power than people. This is a fact made true by the fact that in Canada, the citizens are complacent and do not exercise our power by calling our MPs (MPPs, or any level of government). No matter how badly we're getting 'hosed'.

Then consider the tactics used in negotiating. You ask for more than you want, then concede on certain (non-important) items and get what you wanted in the first place. I'm sure the EU isn't as steadfast on some of the items; and won't push on all.

Be sure of one thing. What the EU and US want, they'll eventually get. Our economy isn't big enough to push for our desires even if the public decided to make it's voice heard. I would love to be an optimist about this, but with our track record there's no reason to be.
March 30, 2010

Not good for Canada said:

Remember Mad Cow?
When the US threatened to close their borders, everyone was scared that we would be impoverished. Where would we sell our beef? Of course, now we have slaughter houses and meat packing plants, and make more than we did before.

People are talking about how we're reaching the point where all the productivity to be gained comes from ideas. That being the case, what need do we have for trade at all? They have nothing tangible to offer, and no way to prevent intangibles from crossing borders without our active participation.

You don't trade with the sharpest horse trader in town. There's no gain to be had in it, you just get ripped off.

So, why are we even talking to them? We would be better off taking a page from North Korea's playbook, and build our own infrastructure.
March 30, 2010

Fairdealer said:

@Not good for Canada
We trade because we don't have any infrastructure. We don't have any infrastructure because we trade.

Oh, and if we just cut off trade, someone would probably just annex us. We are essentially allowed to exist because we sell our resources cheaply, and don't complain. Do remember there are only 31 million of us, and our military couldn't possibly defend a territory as large as Canada. Ideas like becoming self sufficient as a nation are nice, but they don’t reflect reality. We are the ***** of the western world, and we keep electing people who ensure we stay that way.

The fault lies only in ourselves.
March 30, 2010

Lara K. said:

@JD
Well spoken, JD. Canada obviously needs to keep information and trade flowing back and forth between Canada, the EU and the US. As the latter two entities have much more weight to throw around in this fight, it makes sense that it is the EU and not Canada that is the source of most of these "demands" in this negotiation. I hope Canada can find the best way to balance its policy in this area.
March 30, 2010

MousierLibre said:

@JD and @Fairdealer
Lets not sell the farm yet.

Lets not forget for now we have the resources. Therefore the world must come to us and negotiate on our terms. Oil is a scarce resource and we hold it.

As for allying with Europe now? To me Europe has little to add to the future economy. Remember, Europe is merely the puppet of the US in this instance. Yes they have a small amount to gain as well, albeit most European multinationals have not managed to exploit Intellectual property as the US has. The other side is most savvy businesses are able to skirt around any issues by leveraging NAFTA & US satellite offices.

One final note: Wealth is a funny thing, whereby revolution sweeps along ever so often to restore and re balance wealth. As long as riffles exist, the elite will face problems long before they manage to starve out the masses. This along with current free speech on the internet create an elixir of trouble never before faced by the kings. It is interesting to watch it unfold...
March 30, 2010

Judge Hershey said:

Policy Laundering
Watch this closely. Write to all the politicians you can and tell them exactly what you think of this whole thing, because the moment that thing is signed, which is possible lets not kid ourselves, these rules will then have to implemented.

This is, as has been said, the thin end of the wedge. Its an evil perpetrated against the citizens of most of the 'free' world by the corporations.

Corporations have, generally, a very great deal to answer for.
March 30, 2010

Fairdealer said:

@MousierLibre
All the resources in the world are of no use to us if the people are blind, deaf and dumb and our politicians are corrupt. We’ll not be able to assert ourselves as a nation until we regain control of our own government. That starts by having each Canadian stand up and demand that our rights not be slowly eaten away, and we all take the responsibility to learn about what is happening. It ends by holding the feet of the politicians to the fire, and making sure they do what we want.
March 30, 2010

Not good for Canada said:

Sounds good Fairdealer
What you said sounds good, Fairdealer. Very convincing the way you spoke with the authoritative tone, as though you were the expert.

Totally ignores the realities of how things turned out though. Our cattle industry got healthier, theirs went downhill, and Canadians are eating better than they did before.

Shame how events didn't confirm your statement...

Oh, and how is the US going to annex us if we cut off the flow of oil and hydro? Are they going to push the tanks across the border?
March 30, 2010

Not good for Canada said:

Politicians
Less than half the population votes. The politicians have no authority beyond inertia and naked force. Why would you think you should write to them?

We have a duty to find another way to organize. This one is obsolete.
March 30, 2010

Fairdealer said:

@Not good for Canada
Speaking of people speaking as though they were experts...pot calling the kettle black.

First off; I'm from Alberta, and I've family involved all through the chain of the Cattle industry. Your statements are only partially true. We've /begun/ to build out a cattle-processing industry here, but it certainly can’t handle our extant capacity, and we went through hell to get there. (Just talk to some of our farmers about this to get a real view rather than loftily looking down from an ivory tower.)

Remember that in order to “build out infrastructure,” you have to have all sorts of things. To make this work we need money to invest in the infrastructure. We will also need either a cry from the citizenry to kick-start the politicians into action or people with vision and the chutzpah to get things done. Money we have, the rest...not so much. I don’t disagree with you that this is what Canada “should” be doing. What I disagree with is that we have the kind of people in this country with the balls to take the kinds of risks associated with it.

Remember that investing in capacity for (let’s pick something) oil refining is a huge amount of money. If that capacity exists somewhere else, (let’s say the US,) you’re driving the overall cost of the finished good down. (Refining capacity being now more abundant, you can’t charge as much for it.) This means you have to take that into account when producing, and hope that the buyers of this product don’t suddenly decide they won’t accept finished product, only raw goods.

If you want a great example of how this is shaking out, take a gander yon China’s way. They have just pulled this stunt with “rare earths.” China simply won’t export them; you have to build your factories for processing them into finished goods in China. (This was largely an attempt to stab Japan’s electronics and capacitor industries in the throat with a rusty hatchet.) There is a lot of fallout mounting on this, and in the short term the world will have to suck it up and live with it. In the long term...well I happen to be personally acquainted with a few local geology companies. They are sitting on some nice deposits of rare earths, (tantalum, niobium, etc.) and thanks to this situation their proposed mines gone from “more or less commercially viable” to “holy ****ing **** get those things producing NOW!!!!” The world economy is treating China’s rare earths stunt as damage and is routing around it, just as they would for us.

As to being annexed: there are plenty of ways to annex us, militarily is only one of them. Right now we aren’t on the receiving end of too much in the way of political or economic interference from our trading partners. (The US, the EU, and China all being big trading partners with the ability to beat us about the ears.) Certainly, the US could walk across the border and take us over militarily if they wished, but they really don’t have to. Beyond all the interesting nigglies in NAFTA designed to screw us if we try something like this, given what the US spends every year on propaganda in other countries...I’d not want to be on the receiving end of that budget.

You might think Canada is mighty, but we are still only 33 million people. We have all these resources, and no one to dig them up or process them. Our national budgets are still a rounding error compared to the planetary superpowers, and we don’t have anyone in this nation with big enough balls willing to step forward and change that.

…but I’d be the first to back them if they did.
March 30, 2010

crade said:

...
"Our national budgets are still a rounding error compared to the planetary superpowers, and we don’t have anyone in this nation with big enough balls willing to step forward and change that. "

Why would you want to live in a country like that?
March 30, 2010

Fairdealer said:

@crade
I don't. There's no one in Canada with the intelligence and chutzpah to improve our national situation. And getting into the EU is ****ing hard.

I'd rather die than live in the US.

What's does that leave as options?
March 30, 2010

MousierLibre said:

New Weapon the internet...
Lets not forget propaganda comes cheap now a days. The US has boxed itself in a corner with its own propaganda. Too much of their own population is now in the lower class and realizing it.

I suspect they'll soon have their own problems to contend with... Homeland security it to take care of the bad guys (the poor) in line.

I spend a lot of time working in the US... If its a battle of propaganda they where to pursue with us, that can sting both ways. They have a lot more angry cattle to herd then we do.
March 30, 2010

Cyndee Todgham Cherniak said:

Trade Lawyers Blog Post Looking at Issue from Trade Perspective
Michael - Great article. I have put my trade spin at www.tradelawyersblog.com. I think that the draft IP chapter in the Canada-EU CETA goes beyond all other free trade agreements out there and may derail the entire negotiation to the detriment of businesses in Canada and the EU which desperately need trade opportunities,
April 01, 2010

proud canadian said:

...
EU, fuck off! This is Canada. Fucking eurotrash!
April 20, 2010

c0rn1 said:

Stand up!
... Against those crazy corrupts trying to incorporate the internet.
Canada is one of the last free industrial countries...

I hope you won't accept any of those demands and rather demand the heads of the EU brought to you after a little treatment on the Guillotine.

cheers from germany

c0rn1
April 26, 2010

Pelagic said:

It happenned in Australia
Copyright changes from AU-US free trade agreement. We got improvements to fair use, but also life+70-year copyright and DMCA.

Australia and Canada have a lot in common: Westminster-style government, large area, low average population density, large primary industry (mining, agriculture, animal husbandry) with little secondary (processing, manufacturing).

Our chances of holding out against large trading "partners" like US and China is pretty slim. In Australia we drink Californian orange juice whilst our citrus growers dig their crops into the ground. Our citizens eat contaminated Chinese produce (cheap because they have no health regulation) while our superior produce is sold to wealthy countries in EU, JP and middle-east. It's all about the $$.

But I'm getting off-topic.

50 years from first publication/broadcast should be ample time to exploit an artistic work. Make it simple, make it uniform, and remove the guesswork about "when did so-and-so die", " how do we identify all the authors", etc. Moral rights such as attribution should last forever, though.

July 08, 2010

canada said:

EU... done oyu mean PU
FUCK THE EU... CANADIAN INFIDELS WILL BURN YOU
September 02, 2010

André said:

Look, I'm sorry
As a European let me apologize for this. Unfortunately the European supranational administration for all it's potential has some significant setbacks. Mainly that is has become a playground for lobbyists that try to inject pro-business legislation at the top in order to circumvent the more cumbersome process of doing the same in every European country.

I consider writing to my local member of the European parliament. Won't help, but at least it's a statement. For me it's not a matter of you versus us, but them versus us all.
October 09, 2010

Paumadou said:

...
As European people, I think that 70years AFTER the dead of an artist is too long : 70years mean it's not only the sons but the grand-grand-sons who didn't nothing at all for that (and maybe never known the artist ! How can they "known the spirit and keeping the memory" of the dead ?)
For the author's memory, 50years is enough.
(with that kind of logic, we all must respect the 100years delay of Mexico ! But like it was said : European administration is very difficult to fight - even when you are a european country governement's leader !)
March 23, 2011

Sue said:

...
Given how easily information can be shared on the internet, perhaps it's time for one worldwide copyright law. At the very least - the UK, EU, Canada, USA, Australia & New Zealand (and any obvious countries I've forgotten) - can come up with a law that uses an average of their current 'dead + x years' formula. The laws need to catch up with technology.
November 16, 2011

Barry said:

Bill C32 now C11 and books
Does the new proposed Bill C11 which replaces Bill C32 provide for extending book copyright to 70 years? - Thanks
January 04, 2012

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